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abelizegirl

Doing AFF in Mexico

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I may as well just do it, it is all I think about. All day, every day. I am going to wait to get Belize residence and just have a work permit for the next year or so. That way I can come and go as I please.
I am looking at Mexico for my AFF as it is an easy drive from Belize. Playa del Carmen has a DZ that offers AFF training and I like the area, so at first glance it seems like the perfect spot for me. But I have some concerns about doing the training outside of the States. I hope these questions don't sound foolish, they have just been on my mind.

1) The staff at Skydive Playa are trained by the USPA. I assume this does not mean they come from the States but are trained in the same manner as US instructors. My concern is that I do not always hear properly through accents and often have to ask for a repeat if the speakers' premier language is not English. It happens 100 times a day when I am talking to Belizeans. I don't want to be rude in requesting an English speaking instructor, but at the same time, I don't want to misunderstand or have to strain to hear what the instructor is saying. Would it be odd to contact them and have a few conversations with the instructors before signing up?

2) When I go to a doctor or dentist I ask him or her questions about their training and how they keep current in their field. Are the instructors open to talking about themselves and their experiences? Both good and bad. It is best to have everything happen perfectly each time one jumps, but it is necessary to know those times it doesn't go as planned. Isn't it?

3) Will that little voice in the back of my head stop screaming..."What the F*#K are you doing??? Are you CRAZY??? Why are you up here with your ass in a sling when the ground is way down there?!" I loved the jumps but there were moments when all I wanted was the canopy to open, the rushing wind to stop and the camera man somewhere other than in my face. Even now, having decided at 3am this morning to do this, I am nervous. I keep going over the things in my mind that scared me on those first two jumps. I am embarrassed to say that on my second jump I got caught up in the beauty of the freefall and forgot everything my tandem instructor had taught me. I didn't look at my altimeter once and didn't I pull. It still bugs me. I should have done one more to get beyond it. So, how do I trust myself to be able to handle an emergency situation should one arise and not panic? Will everything I learned fall right outta my head as soon as I exit the plane?

Well, sorry for the dissertation but that's about it. I wasn't really sure where to post this, so hopefully I am in the right spot. There seems to be a level of trust between members here that I have not found in any other society, so it seems less threatening to just come out and ask for help than to go it alone.



It's all Jimmy Buffet's fault.

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My concern is that I do not always hear properly through accents and often have to ask for a repeat if the speakers' premier language is not English. It happens 100 times a day when I am talking to Belizeans. I don't want to be rude in requesting an English speaking instructor, but at the same time, I don't want to misunderstand or have to strain to hear what the instructor is saying.



I know of a broken ankle which was apparently linked to a student not understanding the instructor properly (English second language for the student) - not sure how the best way to go about it is but you do need to ensure that you have an instructor you can understand! Safety should be priority and I think this should be construed as a reasonable request - assuming they do have English speaking instructors.

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2) When I go to a doctor or dentist I ask him or her questions about their training and how they keep current in their field. Are the instructors open to talking about themselves and their experiences? Both good and bad. It is best to have everything happen perfectly each time one jumps, but it is necessary to know those times it doesn't go as planned. Isn't it?



Part of the course will be about things that don't go as planned and how to respond to them. I understand it's normal for instructors to introduce themselves by telling you their traing and experience. I'm sure you can ask any questions that aren't answered.

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Will that little voice in the back of my head stop screaming..."What the F*#K are you doing??? Are you CRAZY???


If you stick around, eventually :D

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I am embarrassed to say that on my second jump I got caught up in the beauty of the freefall and forgot everything my tandem instructor had taught me. I didn't look at my altimeter once and didn't I pull. It still bugs me. I should have done one more to get beyond it. So, how do I trust myself to be able to handle an emergency situation should one arise and not panic? Will everything I learned fall right outta my head as soon as I exit the plane?



Sensory overload is normal on the first jump... maybe you should have done a bit more on that 2nd jump, but you wouldn't be the first student to do that. Not sure how much training you had before your second tandem, but AFF ground school will be a lot more intense and the dives and emergency procedures will be drilled. (But if you keep on not getting it right, you'll get a speech about bowling.)
Skydiving: wasting fossil fuels just for fun.

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Sorry, I don't have an answer, but I have/had the same Problems.

I'm swiss, and my mother tounge is german. I had the option to do a cheaper AFF earlier this year in a hoter area of europe. But the Instructor would have spoken english, which wasn't their native language either. So, I searched a while for a german dropzone in the south. If you take a look at europe, there's no german speaking country in the south :-D. But I found a german team which goes to an italien DZ and do AFF training there. So that's my solution...

The reason why I'm so scared of having a not native german speaking instructor, was an expiriance I had on my first tandem. The instructor explained me in english that he'll loosening the gear a little bit after the chute is open, and that I'll fall down some inches for that reason. I understood it completely wrong and got a big shock, as I slided down the tandeminstructor after the chute already openend properly...

My AFF will start in 25 days, and since I transfered the money, and I know there won't be any way back, I'm thinking about it every moment. But I realy like this kind of fear, it's still exiting, and I hope this won't change...

I'm not that affraid of doing something completely stupid in the air, becaus of fear. I'm affraid of the fear before jumping out of the airplain.
I know from other expiriances (klimbing), that if I fear to die, the fear is like gone and I start to react like a machine without thinking that much. The time before this 'break even', is what I'm afraid of...

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They don't offer AFF, they offer the AFP which is the tandem progression method. It's an awesome training program whereby you do three tandems first, then go to ground school, then jump with a single AFF-rated instructor. I watcehd them work with a couple of students whiel I was down there. Understood every word they said just fine. Could even understand the Instructor's verbal body corrections of a student while they were out on the step.

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Will everything I learned fall right outta my head as soon as I exit the plane?



I can't think of a person on the planet who hasn't had this thought while learning how to skydive. And, the truth of the matter is; no one can answwer that for you - but you.

But, here's what I can tell you... I think the AFP program takes away a lot of those concerns. By the time you're on your fourth jump, you should be remembering the great things about freefall, be less anticipatory about the door and be able to relax enough to handle an emergency situation fine.

Enjoy.
Nobody has time to listen; because they're desperately chasing the need of being heard.

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hi there
good luck with the course, you also ask some good questions,

some points for you to consider, some drop zones out side the states may say uspa group member, however you should check this and also ask to see the uspa instructors membership card it should clearly state AFF instructor, you can also see for how long they have been a uspa instructor,

also look at the gear again some drop zones are forced due to economic considerations to use gear that you may not wish to use.

as for the quality of instruction that will depend on your instructor, again ask about refund policy if you elect not to continue,

again good luck
and blue skies
life is a journey not to arrive at the grave in a pristine condition but to skid in sideways kicking and screaming, shouting "fuck me what a ride!.

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Hi there,
I am currently working at Skydive El Sol in Cabo San Lucas. While we are a bit far to help you out, Perhaps I can offer a bit of insight. Since Playa Del Carmen is primarily a tourist market I am certain the instructors speak english.I would be a bit surprised if all the instructors are Mexican nationals (our staff hail from Mexico, USA, Canada, and Zimbabwe. My replacement next month may be coming from Argentina.) When we applied for our work visas we were asked to prove our qualifications to the government as well as to our employers. We offer AFP here with the Canadian student being taught by me, the Americans being taught by an AFF rated, English first language instructor, and all Mexicans that have come through being taught by the USPA AFF rated Spanish first language owner.
Learning in Mexico does not mean an inferior product; the junior instructor on this DZ has over 3000 skydives. By the same token, a USPA membership does not guarantee qualified, competent or dedicated staff in the US or elsewhere. I have not been to this DZ nor have I met the staff, so I cannot make a recommendation one way or another. You should meet these people yourself and decide whether you have confidence in them.
Have a great time.

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Hi,
I am a Mexican DZO. All I have to say is that I could not agree more with what Andrew says. I know The guys at Playa del Carmen and they are very professional and have been around for quite some time. Don't worry. My only piece of advice would be to meet them and see how you feel. You should feel at ease, and should find them trustworthy. If for any reason something does not make "click" with you, then you should start looking around for other alternative. But I am sure you'll have the best experience ever!
Blue skyes and safe landings always
Full Planes and Blue Skies Always!

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I think you should stay in the US, take it there, do to the fact that you do not speak spanish... Yes sapnish something that you do not know... So save your self some griff and the mexicans too.
Stay home lady, and take up chequers or something along deos lines.
Carlos

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The guys @ Playa del Carmen are more than qualified for the job and speak perfect english. I did not take the AFF there but know them well.
***Keep it fun, stay alive***
Safe swoops
Azul
Follow Orbita on Twitter @freeflyorbita

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Hi there.
The guys down at Skydive playa are professional people, I'm not sure if they offer right now AFF instruction, but you can be sure that if they do, they are qualified to do it, so be comfortable with them and feel free to let them know your concerns.
As Azul said, they are fluent in english so forget about the useless comment about that.
Have a great time and be safe.
Blues...
Mach

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1) The staff at Skydive Playa are trained by the USPA. I assume this does not mean they come from the States but are trained in the same manner as US instructors. My concern is that I do not always hear properly through accents and often have to ask for a repeat if the speakers' premier language is not English. It happens 100 times a day when I am talking to Belizeans.



English is the language of Belize, but I had an easier time understanding people in spanish speaking tourist realms. Very accented, blended form of English there.

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I appreciate the responses, I enjoyed hearing your viewpoints. I am not going to respond to everyone in separate notes, but will touch on a few things mentioned here.

Orange1, thank you, your reply was a big help. I want to stress that my tandem instructor was excellent. He gave perfect instruction, two days in a row and he is not to blame for my brain fart. We actually did do more on the second jump than the first, two summersaults out of the door of the plane and then I was supposed to check my altimeter when we came into position. Instead, I got taken by surprise by the closeness of the camera man who was filming the video. It was very uncomfortable for me, and I did not know how to back him away, so I lost seconds recovering from that surprise. We did some turns, to the right and left and I was supposed to check after each time, but there were clouds on my second jump where there were none on my first and I was mesmerized by the idea of clouds at my fingertips. Then I just buggered off trying to locate landmarks on the ground and everytime he tried to get me to look at the altimeter I was gawking the other way. Sixty seconds went by so quickly, lol. So he pulled and I learned a valuable lesson. In no way was it on him. I trusted him totally and if he had told me to jump first and he would catch up with me in a minute, I would have believed he could do just that, lol.

SkydiverJerry, thanks to you as well. One of the reasons I posted these questions here is because I don't know what type of equipment I should be looking for when seeking a place to train. So I rely on the experienced people to guide me through this.

Andrew, Cabo is not a bad hop from Belize, so should I choose to do a static line jump I will check it out.

Matador, Mach, I meant no offense when I posed the language question, so I hope you took none. The comment was more about my hearing problem than anyone's ability to speak. Nor did I in any way have any question as to the professionalism of the instructors.

Hey Shawn, nice to hear from you. The people at Boogie in Belize were awesome, and I can't wait to see them all next year.



It's all Jimmy Buffet's fault.

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English is the language of Belize, but I had an easier time understanding people in spanish speaking tourist realms. Very accented, blended form of English there.



I have minor hearing loss from years of construction. Throw in an accent and I am forever asking someone to repeat themselves.



It's all Jimmy Buffet's fault.

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If you are experiencing hearing problems you should avoid skydiving.
This activity can generate rapid pressure changes in your inner ear
and also the decibels (from aircraft & freefall) could make your hearing condition
worse over time. If your going skydiving anyway, don´t forget to wear your ear
plugs and a full face helmet.
More information here : http://www.dropzone.com/forum/Skydiving_C1/General_Skydiving_Discussions_F18/Skydiving_and_hearing_ability_P1887632/
By the way, if you decide to jump in Mexico will be glad to meet you at :
www.skydivecuautla.com

See you soon...

Santiago FM
Mexico

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Hi there.
The guys down at Skydive playa are professional people, I'm not sure if they offer right now AFF instruction, but you can be sure that if they do, they are qualified to do it, so be comfortable with them and feel free to let them know your concerns.
As Azul said, they are fluent in english so forget about the useless comment about that.
Have a great time and be safe.



ARRRGGG!!! If there is one way to write something, there are 10 ways for me to mis-read it. I think I misintrepreted your reply. My apologies for that. I have decided to do it in Playa, the drive will be nice and where I cannot jump in Belize all the time, it is close enough to get to every weekend or so without having to fly somewhere.



It's all Jimmy Buffet's fault.

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Andrew, Cabo is not a bad hop from Belize, so should I choose to do a static line jump I will check it out.


¿¿Que?? We do not offer static line here in Cabo. We offer AFF by American, Canadian or Mexican rated instructors.



Woops...I was looking at the Cancun website, not the Cabo.



It's all Jimmy Buffet's fault.

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What's prejudiced about asking if staff at a DZ in Mexico speak English? Certainly preferable to *expecting* everyone everywhere to speak English! :P

None of the original posters questions implied an "adverse judgement" about the DZs there... I think you're reading things into the questions that aren't there!


Don't sweat the petty things... and don't pet the sweaty things!

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prejudice.
1. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
2. A preconceived preference or idea.

definitely not a good way to start skydiving



I think I have stressed in more than one reply, it is not the accent that is the concern, it is my hearing. I cannot see starting skydiving continuously interrupting a lesson to ask the instructor to repeat himself/herself.



It's all Jimmy Buffet's fault.

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I think this has gone WAAAAY off topic:S. someone asked if a dropzone was ok for AFF and if people spoke english @ the DZ because of a hearing condition. so let's keep it there and not talk about prejudice or staying in one's country 'cause i'm leaving to AZ tomorrow and no one is telling me not to, as i wound't tell anyone not to come to jump in beautiful mexico. we're all skydivers after all ;)

p.s. ok so i was braggin' about AZ but i can't help it...i'm excited:P
***Keep it fun, stay alive***
Safe swoops
Azul
Follow Orbita on Twitter @freeflyorbita

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